Fertility treatment in India has taken off over the last decade, and experts predict continued growth over the next one. At the same time, access to fertility care outside of major cities is still limited. Carrot partner Nova IVF is helping change this with more than 44 centers across 30 cities in India, one in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and one in Sri Lanka — and plans to grow. We talked with Manish Banker, MD, Medical Director of Nova IVF Fertility, about the increasing awareness of fertility in India and how Nova IVF plans to provide high-quality care to more patients.
About Manish Banker, MD:
- Medical Director of Nova IVF Fertility and Pulse Women’s Hospital, Ahmedabad
- 30+ years of experience and more than 20,000 successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancies
- Winner of the Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy National Award from the Medical Council in India, considered one of the highest recognitions in medicine
- Member of the drafting committee for assisted reproductive technology (ART) bill of India
- Awarded the ET Healthworld National Fertility Award 2019 – Icon of the Year for his contributions in the field of reproductive medicine and fertility treatments
Tell us a little about Nova IVF and what you specialize in.
Nova IVF Fertility (NIF) is among the largest providers of fertility treatment in India. NIF aims to provide advanced ART in India on par with what’s available globally. While India has seen a significant rise in the number of patients opting for infertility treatments, the numbers are still abysmally low compared to how many couples need medical treatment to get pregnant. One of the major reasons for this is lack of awareness. People need to be made aware of the basic concept that infertility is a disease that needs to be addressed medically. NIF was launched in 2011 with a commitment to offering standardized and ethical infertility treatment as well as addressing the urgent need for dedicated providers of fertility treatment.
In addition to providing core procedures such as intrauterine insemination (IUI), IVF, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and male-factor infertility services, NIF offers several state-of-the-art technologies such as egg and embryo freezing and endometrial receptor analysis (ERA) to determine the best window of implantation for transferring embryos. We also offer advanced genetic testing on embryos. All these procedures can improve the chances of pregnancy following IVF and ICSI in couples with repeated IVF failures, 35+ pregnancy, repeated miscarriages, or hereditary genetic disorders.
What interested you in a career in fertility?
After pursuing a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), and MD with honors from VS Medical College and Hospital in Ahmedabad, India, I chose to pursue advanced training in IVF and endoscopy in Australia and Germany. With a strong will to deliver patient-centric, evidence-based, state-of-the-art, transparent, and affordable fertility treatments, I started my IVF practice in 1996.
What do you recommend individuals and couples look for in a fertility clinic?
If fertility treatment has been advised by your OB/GYN and they referred you to a particular clinic, trust your referral doctor. If your doctor doesn’t suggest a specific clinic, you can also research doctors offering treatment in your area and understand their expertise. Consider taking these steps:
- Make a shortlist of a few clinics in your area (if you’re a Carrot member, Carrot’s team can help with this step).
- Visit the specialists.
- Get clarity on their IVF process, IVF treatment cost, their embryologist’s expertise, the success rate of the specialist, and the surgical expertise of the specialist. You can usually find this information on their website. If not, ask about their expertise when you visit the clinic.
- Assess if you feel good about the staff and specialist and proceed with making an appointment.
Are there any common misconceptions you hear from patients starting their fertility journey?
India still has a social stigma attached to couples who haven’t had children after being married for a few years. One misconception about IVF is that it’s seen as “artificial” reproduction. People also ask whether children born from IVF will be “normal,” if IVF is painful, whether their own gametes will be used, will there be a mix-up of gametes, and whether 100% success is guaranteed in IVF. We address all of these questions and ease concerns when patients come to our clinics.
What are your plans for growth in the coming year?
Our plans are to grow in smaller towns and cities with less infrastructure in India so that fertility healthcare is affordable and world-class standards in fertility care are available to anyone seeking fertility treatment, wherever they are. We’re also planning to train more OB/GYNs interested in pursuing fertility as their specialty.
If you’re a Carrot member, log into your account to search for fertility and family-forming services near you, including Nova IVF. Carrot partners offer exclusive benefits like priority booking and lower negotiated rates.
If you’re a fertility care or family-forming service provider interested in supporting Carrot members or want to learn more about working with Carrot, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.